We are halfway through the trip already and we all survived the night in homestay close quarters.
Cuong took Steve and Kerry to the clinic and was successful in getting the first of the two rabies shots they needed, and we left the friendly Bui homestay around 9.15am headed back towards town and heading south.
Today was to be an easy and shorter day. A very good road in the morning was a welcome relief after some very long days.
About 50km out of Hà Giang we stopped for coffee and some freshly squeezed sugar cane. A group of kids on bikes cycled past all practicing their English with us.
We left the main road after coffee and headed up a twisting turning road for the last 30km.
We headed into Hoàng Su Phì, one of the least travelled areas in northern Vietnam. It is completely different with thick forests broken up by tea plantations and staircase-like terraces which are at their most spectacular in September and October during the harvest.
There were lovely cascading waterfalls along the side of the road and at the top of a pass we stopped for lunch just before a swine flu checkpoint where all the tyres were sprayed. At lunch Russ purchased a couple of bottles of rice wine for the group for 80,000 dong per bottle - about $5 each - at that price it’s sure to be an excellent drop!
It was only 13km from there to the eco retreat and we arrived at 2.30pm and crossed the foot bridge just as the rain that was forecast started to drip down. The rain suits this place, which is very tropical, and it was lovely to have a lazy afternoon listening to the rain fall gently outside the room. We were able to get washing done here, too.
Everyone looked refreshed at dinner after an afternoon of lazing around and those that had the massage said it was excellent.